China's Ministry of Health reported two new cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in southwest China in recent days, including the country's fifth death from the illness this year, according to a Reuters report.
An 18-year-old man died at a hospital in Yulin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday. The Ministry of Health said he had come into contact with dead poultry prior to exhibiting symptoms of bird flu.
The Ministry also announced that a 29-year old man in had fallen ill with bird flu in Guizhou province. The man was reported to be in stable condition.
H5N1 is still primarily a threat to birds, but some experts warn of mutant strains which could become easily transmissible among humans – especially in urban areas in which people are raising poultry or 'wet markets' in which the birds are kept and slaughtered prior to or upon sale.
According to the Reuters report, concern is growing over the role of vaccines among China's poultry:
The bird flu deaths in China in January have been scattered across the country in areas where there has been no known outbreak of bird flu among poultry, raising concerns among scientists that the virus may be present but masked by widespread vaccination.
Of the 34 cases of bird flu reported among humans in China to date, 23 of them have been fatal, according to statistics by the World Health Organization.© Copyright 2005-2020 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.